Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Benthic Ecology and Biology
Research Methods


The benthic ecology group focused on determining faunal distribution and abundance, bacterial abundance and productivity, and sediment community consumption.  In order to examine these aspects of the sea floor a wide variety of biological and oceanographic tools were used. The benthic ecology group recorded hours of video transects and analyzed many tons of mud. Continue down this page to learn about the specific instruments used to collect and gather data.

The Mud Scud

Photo of the  "mud scud"

The "mud scud" is an underwater camera. It is  used to take video transects of the sea floor. MBARI scientists use this underwater camera to examine the biological and physical properties of the sea floor.

 Footage from the Mud Scud!


The Box Core

The box core is an important research instrument used to collect mud and sediments from the ocean floor. The box core enables scientists to examine the biological make up of the benthic sediments.  A wide variety of animals and bacterial data is collected from the box cores.

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